Without our fantastic crew chiefs and ground support teams, none of this helicopter flying in Vietnam could ever have happened. Our crew chiefs flew all day with us, loading and unloading cargo and passengers, putting their lives in our pilots’ hands hour after hour, day after day (some nights), landing after landing.
Without them the machines would have deteriorated to un-flyable junk in less than a week. After working all day in the air, they many times worked all night to maintain the helicopters. Sometimes they had to wash blood off the cabin floor and sweep our maggots from dead marines.
They changes out engines overnight, replaced gear boxes, rotor blades and many other components--in the field at times. They filled about 100 zerk fitting with grease, most of them every night; there must be 50 zerk fitting on the H-34 rotor head alone. They did all the refueling whenever we stopped to refuel.
These were the most dedicated crews that could possibly have existed, anywhere, anytime, any war. They never got enough thanks and credit for their sacrifices. Thank you crew chiefs, gunners mechanics, avionics and armory personnel.
This is an excerpt from my book: